Washington- US reports about two meetings held between US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russia’s ambassador to Washington before the election of President Donald Trump pushed on Thursday the administration into turmoil after similar reports led to the resignation of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Last month, Flynn resigned after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador to his country before Trump took office and misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.
The emergence of cases similar to Flynn’s pushed some officials to ask for an independent investigation into the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. elections, which allowed Trump to reach the White House.
House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Sessions “lied under oath” and that “anything less than resignation or removal from office is unacceptable”.
US Republicans said Sessions should withdraw from supervising the probe into alleged Russian connections with Trump’s campaign team.
The Washington Post uncovered on Wednesday that Sessions had met two times with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
Sessions first met Sessions in July at a Heritage Foundation event at the Republican National Convention, and then received Kislyak in his Senate office in September.
Sessions told NBC News early Thursday: “I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign.”
Asked whether he would step aside from investigating alleged ties between Trump’s aides and intermediaries for the Russian government, Sessions said: “I have said whenever it’s appropriate, I will recuse myself. There’s no doubt about that.”
Pressure exerted on Sessions from his own camp was growing on Thursday.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Sessions should withdraw from the probe into the alleged connections.
Chaffetz tweeted early Thursday: “Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself.”